I love looking at the sidewalks in Japan. Even the grate covers are beautiful. Each different town has its own manhole covers–
The sidewalks and streets and station platforms (everywhere) also had mysterious raised bumps and lines, which totally confused us until we decided they must be for sight impaired folks? I will say, they really mess up wheeling suitcases. Plus, if I couldn’t see them, I bet they’d make me stumble and trip — which just seems mean…
They made for cool abstract photos though…
Since you always had to board a specific numbered car– the platform was little help.
The first few times we rode a train, the pre-train announcement (usually in an English accent)-would, inexplicably, say: “This is an eight car train. The first car is train one, and the last car is train 8”. The statement seemed unnecessary – but especially the last part.
At one point, though, the English pre-train recording came on and said “this is a 6 car train. Car 1 is car 6, and car 6 is car 1. Enter car 3, labeled on the platform, for non-reserved seats”. I’m sure the Japanese which followed, and was suspiciously short, just said “watch the English speakers run around like fools shortly, it’s gonna be hilarious”
The number 10 below has a 3 *in it* — but of course that wasn’t the right spot either.
The last thing I’ll point out about the ground in Japan — no matter where we were: giant okayama, tiny Yakage– every single place we went– the streets were immaculate. Zero trash, papers, food, nothing. Ever. But what was weirdest about that was there are no public trash cans. Like anywhere. Ever. Rarely there’s a bottle/can recycle slot for all the hot corn cheese drinks and Cans of Fire the Japanese are apparently pounding – but no trash.
What do they do with it? Put it in their purse or pockets? Or do they just never have trash? Somehow, we always had trash, this is how I know there are no trash cans. I was constantly in a state of trying to dispose of a wrapper or a teabag or a napkin or a cup or a tissue. Always. What was I doing differently??? It was puzzling, and somehow seemed like an inferred or symbolic statement about America/Americans.